DIY silhouette ornaments

I didn’t actually intend these to be ornaments when I made them. This was part of the décor for Kim and Zach’s baby shower. I made these tiny plaques to hang on the wall and flank my pièce de résistance, the cardboard deer head.

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But then I was thinking about what to do with them after the shower, and I decided that these silhouette plaques would make great coasters or DIY silhouette ornaments.

They couldn’t have been simpler to make. I first painted my wooden plaques (which I bought at Michael’s for $1.79 a piece) navy blue using craft paint and stained the outer ridge using Sherwin Williams Fruitwood stain. While those dried, I looked for free clipart online. I searched for baby forest creatures. Again, I was working with a woodland theme, but Santa, a wreath, a reindeer, or any other holiday image would work. The one tip I have: Pick images without lots of intricate details. The talons on my owl were as detailed as I went.

Print out your selected images. I scaled mine to be three inches tall since the wooden plaques I was using were four-inch squares.

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Cut the image out, and pin it to a scrap of fabric. Cut the shape out of the fabric using good fabric scissors so your fabric doesn’t pull or fray.

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Then glue the fabric silhouette to the wooden plaque using fabric glue.

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Once they are completely dry, brush a thin coat of Mod Podge over the entire surface to prevent the fabric from curling up at the edges.

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I let them dry completely before installing picture hanging hardware on the back. If you’re planning to hang them as ornaments, glue ribbon to the back; if they’ll end up as coasters, adhere a felt pad on the bottom.

What DIY ornaments are you making this year?

The easiest DIY holiday decor ever

Scott and I hosted our daughter’s christening this weekend. The Sunday after Thanksgiving meant that I wanted to keep things simple—very simple. We created Evite invites and bought the food at Costco so I wanted to keep the décor easy and inexpensive.

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I used a gold tablecloth I already owned, layered paper doilies down the center to serve as a DIY runner, and filled Mason jars with baby’s breath. But the table needed something more.

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While shopping the baking aisle at the grocery store, I came up with another idea. Float balloons above the dining table and cover them with cupcake liners! I bought white balloons at Target, used spray adhesive, and working in small sections, glued the cupcake liners to the balloon (I used 75 or one package per balloon). Then I attached some white string and hung them from the ceiling with clear thumbtacks.

What’s the simplest, easiest, and cheapest décor you’ve ever come up with?

A wishing tree for a baby shower

I cohosted my best friend Kim’s baby shower a couple of weekends ago. It was my first big-gish project since I had Genevieve, and I had so much fun coming up with the woodland themed baby shower and the décor that would accompany it.

For my baby shower in July, Kim had attendees write a note, advice, or a memory for Baby G in the book Guess How Much I Love You.

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I loved it. Some people’s words brought tears to my eyes, others made me laugh out loud. I wanted to do something similar for Kim, Zach, and Baby Wyatt.

I came up with the idea of a Wishing Tree, a place where people might hang words of advice for the parents-to-be or write something they wished for Baby Wyatt.

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I found the twigs and sticks in my front yard in Dallas and transported them to Arizona in my suitcase because they were absolutely perfect, and I worried that I wouldn’t find anything similar in the land of cacti. I clustered the twigs in a faux bois vase I made. I shared the easy how-to instructions on my Pretty Handy Projects blog on CountryLiving.com. Then I created leaves from pieces of fabric (a vintage plaid I purchased on ebay), just free-formed the shape. I wanted the leaves to be rigid but moldable rather than floppy pieces of fabric. So I used this.

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And just liberally sprayed the fabric leaves, then let them dry completely.

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Once dry, I was able to mold them into three-dimensional leaf shapes.

Have you ever used Stiffen Quik?

Turn a thrift store mirror into a chalkboard

To tell guests where to sit at a wedding, I spray painted thrifted picture frames with chalkboard paint. They worked perfectly for this one-time use, but the thin paint layer eventually began to scratch off.

A country club wedding and receptionTo announce each of Genevieve’s monthly milestones, I wanted to create a chalkboard to share her age, weight, and her likes. I also liked the idea of her having a chalkboard in the nook in her room, a place where she will eventually be able to read, daydream, and create.

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DIY paper drawer liners

It’s been WAY too long since I’ve posted. The Generes household has been busy:

1. We moved from San Diego, California to Dallas, Texas!

2. We had a baby! Genevieve was born August 22.

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3. We bought a house (more to come on this in future posts)!

I’m slowly starting to decorate our new house. It’s basically like starting from scratch—yay!—because we sold a lot of our stuff before moving and we have more space here than we did in our San Diego condo.

You may remember that I designed Genevieve’s nursery when we were still living in Switzerland. I’ve had to make a few modifications to the original plan, and I have been REALLY slow in doing projects (life with a newborn) for her room. My first completed project: lining her dresser drawers.

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